American reality TV show “19 Kids and Counting” aired first on TLC in 2008. Seven years later, it was canceled. The show followed the lives of the Duggar family, parents Jim Bob Duggar and Michelle Duggar and their nine girls and ten boys. The show also saw the arrival of three children and four grandkids and the marriage of three of the older children.
The Duggars are devout Baptists, which means that their lives center on the values of modesty and ethical purity. In following a strict dogma of faith in God and the sanctity of life, they also don’t believe in birth control, evidently. Their lifestyle -- which some say echoes the puritanical ways of the Quiverfull movement -- also promotes overbearing family conformity and a subservient role for women. That said, the style of the Duggars’ children’s upbringing has some benefits over mainstream families. Access to entertainment, computers, television, and video games is limited, and their meeting other children is usually chaperoned, meaning that any date is held in a group setting.
Although a spin-off continues with the fourth season of “Counting On” airing in June this year, the original show was axed due to allegations of sexual abuse within the family. Before the show was aired, one of the eldest children, Josh Duggar, molested five girls, including some of his sisters. Then 14 at the time, he publicly apologized for the act in 2015, leading directly to TLC pulling the plug.
But the Duggars are not the only family whose dysfunctions have caused a stir. Here are 15 more celeb families that give them a run for their money.
15 Honey Boo Boo
“Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” is an American reality show focused mainly on Alana Thompson (Honey Boo Boo) and her mother, June Shannon, as they go about their lives at home in McIntyre, Georgia. “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” garnered largely negative reviews from a variety of TV critics. It is a show that has developed a reputation for exploiting the young protagonist. HollywoodReporter.com even went as far as to say: “At some point, awful is just awful instead of entertaining. And isn't it about time TLC was held accountable for making the world a worse place?” Sheesh!
The show was pulled in 2014 after it was discovered Shannon was having an affair with a convicted pedophile; what’s more, he had been accused of molesting one of Shannon’s own daughters. Couple this with Shannon’s long-term husband, Mike Thompson, cheating on his wife amid marriage counseling, and we have ourselves a right old mess.
14 Keeping Up With The Kardashians
As well as Caitlyn Jenner’s transformation from Bruce, each member of the Kardashian family has, in some way, been a little dysfunctional. Eight months before "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" (KUWTK) was released, Kim made a sex tape with Ray J, which she then sold to adult film distribution company Vivid Entertainment. The tape was “the most popular we’ve ever done,” according to owner Hirsch and catapulted Kim Kardashian into the spotlight, albeit for the wrong reasons.
Earlier this year, Kim had to defend her “black face” look for a new cosmetics venture; Kendall Jenner’s recent Pepsi ad was mocked, ridiculed and condemned; and Bruce and Kris’s divorce was said to have been caused by Bruce’s transgender issues. Viewers were also unlucky enough to watch Kourtney Kardashian, Kim Kardashian, and Khloe Kardashian compete in a “vagina smell-off” competition, where they experimented with drinking pineapple juice in an effort to see whose privates would be “sweeter.”
13 Jon & Kate Plus 8
“Jon & Kate Plus 8” premiered in 2007 and told the story of Kate Gosselin and her then-husband, Jon Gosselin. It aired initially on the Discovery Health Channel for the first two seasons before being transferred to The Learning Channel (TLC). The most recent fifth series was one of the network's highest-rated shows, with its premiere seen by a record 9.8 million viewers, according to tvbythenumbers.com.
The family included matriarch Kate, dad Jon, twins Cara Gosselin and Mady Gosselin, and sextuplets Alexis Gosselin, Hannah Gosselin, Aaden Gosselin, Collin Gosselin, Leah Gosselin, and Joel Gosselin. After the couple got divorced in 2009 following revelations of Jon’s infidelity, he was dropped from the show, and it was renamed “Kate Plus 8.” The program continues to attract large numbers of viewers even though some have questioned the exploitative nature of the show. Oh, and one of the sextuplets recently had to be sent away for anger therapy, so there could be more fun and games to come.
12 House Of Carters
"House of Carters" was an American reality show which aired in 2006 and ran for eight episodes. It focused on Nick Carter – he of Backstreet Boys fame – and the LA reunion of he and his four siblings. The family was followed in their attempts to revive their careers as well as grow together following on from Backstreet Boys’ years of touring. The show was filmed amid Nick Carter’s preparations for “Unbreakable”, the band’s 6th album.
Carter’s siblings Aaron Carter, Leslie Carter, B.J. Carter and Angel Carter starred in “House of Carters”. The show was slammed by critics who considered it overly dramatic and violent. Other than producing some awkward viewing, the main premise of the show, namely reunion and revitalisation, failed spectacularly, which is probably one of the reasons it never made it to another season. In fact, worse still, it was parodied on Saturday Night Live, which is probably the kiss of death for most reality TV shows.
11 Hogan Knows Best
Professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) made a name for himself in the international rings of the 1980s and 90s. “Hogan Knows Best” was a reality show focussing on Hogan and his wife Linda Hogan and their efforts to raise a family. It also featured daughter Brooke Hogan, son Nick Hogan and Brian Knobs, Hogan’s long-time friend and former wrestler. The show began its life in 2005 to mixed reviews, running for a further three seasons before being axed in 2008.
Prior to its cancellation, the show had been on rocky ground due to issues within the family. In 2007, Nick was involved in a car crash that left a friend severely disabled. He was charged with reckless driving but was bailed by the family, who denied culpability. Hogan also allegedly cheated on his wife with a female friend of his daughter, which ultimately led to their divorce. Linda’s divorce settlement caused further rifts between the two, leading Hogan to comment that he understood why OJ Simpson killed his wife, according to reports.
10 The Mamas & The Papas
John Phillips, wife Michelle Phillips, Denny Doherty, and Mama Cass Elliot made up the hippie band “The Mamas & the Papas.” They rose to fame in the mid-1960s adapting folk music to the new-beat style. The group had a relatively prolific output in their four years of recording, releasing a total of five studio albums and seventeen singles, six of which made the Billboard top ten. They also sold close to 40 million records worldwide. (Wikipedia)
Daughter of Phillips, Mackenzie Phillips, this year (2017), claimed she’d had a 10-year incestuous relationship with her now late father, John, who had, according to The Telegraph, “one of the worst and wildest reputations in rock.” The allegations are only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the dysfunctionality of the family. Even since John’s death, MacKenzie has struggled with cocaine addiction as have both her half-siblings, Bijou and Chynna. Bijou is also a Scientologist.
9 The Baldwins
Acting clan the Baldwins, which consists of Stephen Baldwin, William Baldwin, and Daniel Baldwin have had their fair share of unpleasant morass, famously, Alec Baldwin's bitter divorce from Kim Basinger in 2002, during which he made impassioned anti-lawyer statements and culminated in a voicemail he sent his ex-wife being made public. On the recording, he’s heard calling his daughter a “rude, thoughtless little pig.” Alec is known for his temper, having unleashed a tirade on some paps, most recently, in 2012.
Alec's brother, Stephen, owed millions up until filing for bankruptcy in 2009. It was also made public recently that he had struggled for years with drug addiction. Finally, Daniel has also succumbed to substance abuse. He was arrested in 1998 for possession after running around naked at the New York Plaza Hotel. After an appearance in four episodes of a 2007 rehab reality show with Dr. Drew, Daniel left. Most recently, his wife was arrested for a DUI after an alleged domestic incident between the two.
8 Leighton Meester
At the time of Leighton Meester’s birth in 1986, her mother, Constance Meester, was serving time in prison for a part played in smuggling marijuana from Jamaica to the United States. Constance was able to nurse her daughter for three months in a halfway house but then returned to jail, leaving Meester to be looked after by her grandmother.
Though not the most dysfunctional family in the world, a series of lawsuits back in 2011 assured the media of a half-decent story. Claims that money Meester had sent her mother to help with the care of her younger brother, Alexander Meester, were being used for beauty treatments was denied. But nevertheless, Meester successfully arraigned her mother in court. In a counter-claim, Constance raised the question of why only $7,500 was being received from her daughter rather than an agreed (but unwritten) contract for $10,000. Needless to say, the judge threw out her mother’s case.
7 Ryan And Tatum: The O'Neals
American reality TV show “Ryan and Tatum: The O'Neals” aired for three months from June 2011 on the OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network. The story centered on father-daughter duo Ryan O'Neal and Tatum O'Neal, both actors in their own right. It was précised as a diary of the coming together of the pair in an effort to redevelop their relationship after twenty-five years. Ryan, who apparently lived in the same home for 40 years, was also trying to recover from the death of his long-time partner, actress Farrah Fawcett.
Tatum had won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Paper Moon” when she was just 10 years old, and although the movie was directed by her father, Ryan, the pair still struggled to connect in a meaningful way. Additionally, Tatum revealed she had fought for many years against substance abuse. The show’s outcome was not a happy one, with the pair only pretending to have reconciled.
6 The Real Housewives Of New Jersey
Best known for her starring role in “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” 45-year-old Teresa Giudice has an interesting personal life. She's written several cookbooks that have featured in the New York Times bestseller list and featured on 2012’s “The Celebrity Apprentice 5.” With all that in hand, you might think Giudice has her life sewn up. But consider that she was released from federal jail only in 2015, and you'll understand why things started to slowly unravel.
Married to construction builder Joe Giudice, the couple proved on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” that they're at constant loggerheads with the rest of the family. But they also have huge problems of their own to deal with. Both have served prison sentences for charges of bank fraud and tax evasion, Jo has cheated on his wife more than anyone cares to admit, and their home in Beach Haven West was recently repossessed to pay for felony debts.
5 The Cyruses
On December 28, 1993, Billy Ray Cyrus married Leticia "Tish" Cyrus, and they went on to have Miley Cyrus, Braison Chance Cyrus, and Noah Lindsey Cyrus. The couple also has two adopted stepchildren. While the couple had a healthy relationship (albeit with a few cock-ups along the way), Miley Cyrus and sister Noah have shown us what celebrity status and money can do to people. And it doesn’t make for pleasant viewing.
Noah unveiled a lingerie line in 2010 when she was just 10 years old, just as sister Miley was making a name for herself as the “Queen of Controversy.” Miley has made no secret of her drug use over the years, and candid shots of her, surrounded by cannabis smoke and white powder, are still being found today. The Mail Online even suggested she had a drug den at her recording studio. All of this prompted Billy Ray to say, “Hannah Montana destroyed my family.”
4 The Houstons
Possibly one of the most famous families barring the Jacksons, the late Whitney Houston’s family had their fair share of controversy. Her own marriage to American singer-songwriter Bobby Brown was a sordid and violent affair, which saw her delve even deeper into the no-hope world of drugs. Often, their fights were out of control, and they went through periods of infidelity, domestic violence, and drug use.
Whitney was incapable of kicking her drugs habit and, in 2012, drowned in a bathtub having been using beforehand. Bobby Brown was distraught and canceled his own show shortly afterward. But worse was still to come for the 48-year-old when his daughter with Whitney, Bobbi Kristina Brown was found comatose in a similar setting. Having also been the victim of substance abuse, she was taken to hospital and treated, but she died shortly afterward in 2015.
3 The Jacksons
Undeniably the most famous family of a generation, The Jacksons formed in 1964 under the name "The Jackson Brothers." The first family members were elder brothers Jackie Jackson, Tito Jackson, and Jermaine Jackson; younger brothers Marlon Jackson and Michael Jackson would join soon after. Joe Jackson, the father, had total control over the group and was allegedly an abusive tyrant. His parenting was said to have damaged the children irrevocably and, in particular, had a long-lasting negative impact on Michael.
All the children claimed to have been subjected to abusive physical punishment, with Michael himself saying his father “beat him up.” Joe also had several affairs during his marriage to Katherine. After being threatened with divorce, Joe escaped the scrappy financial aftermath but then sired a child with a woman named Cheryl Terrell. Joe and Katherine are still married despite the former’s affair with Terrell lasting 25 years.
2 The Spellings
Aaron Spelling was an American film and television producer. He died in 2006, leaving two children, Tori Spelling and Randy Spelling. He married Carolyn Jones in 1953 in California, but they divorced in 1964. Spelling’s successful release of the original “Beverly Hills, 90210” back in 1990 saw the rise to fame of his daughter, Tori, who then went on to star in movies such as Scream 2, Kiss the Bride, and Izzie's Way Home.
All was not right with Tori’s relationship with her parents. In her 2014 memoir, “Candy at Last,” the 68-year-old mother of Tori writes candidly about her strained relationship with Tori. Explaining that she felt estranged from Tori, Candy writes, "Tori and I are a work in progress and probably always will be.” In addition to this, Tori’s relationship with her father was thought to be no better. Tori skipped his funeral and refused to talk about him again.
1 Ike and Tina Turner
Back in the late '60s and early '70s heyday of R&B, American musical duo Ike and Tina Turner took the world by storm. According to the History-of-rock.com, the couple were, at one time, “one of the hottest, most durable, and potentially most explosive of all R&B ensembles.” The duo was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1991 and enjoyed an award-winning career. Tina Turner then continued with her own highly successful career.
The 1993 film “What's Love Got to Do with It?” highlighted the abusive relationship Tina endured at the hands of Ike. A controlling and violent man, he recalled times when he punched her to the ground without thinking. The film focuses on Tina’s desire to escape the controlling clutches of her husband. The relationship caused her to become addicted to drugs, and, in 1976, Tina finally summoned the courage to leave.
Sources: home.bt.com, wetpaint.com, en.wikipedia.org
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